Alexander Walker (critic)

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For other people of the same name, see Alexander Walker.

Alexander Walker (23 March 1930 – 15 July 2003) was a film critic, born in Portadown, Northern Ireland. He was educated at Queen's University, Belfast, the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium and the University of Michigan,[1] and worked for the Birmingham Post in the 1950s, before becoming film critic of the London Evening Standard in 1960, a role he retained until his death in 2003. He was a highly influential figure within the film industry, and also wrote a number of books including one on Stanley Kubrick, a history of the impact made on Hollywood by the rise of the talkies (The Shattered Silents) and a biography of Elizabeth Taylor. His most extensive work is a history of British cinema, spread over three books: Hollywood England, National Heroes and Icons in the Fire.

From the early 1960s onwards he assembled a collection of more than 200 drawings and prints by modern artists, which were bequeathed to the British Museum upon his death in 2003. In 1968, he was a member of the jury at the 18th Berlin International Film Festival.[2]

He is portrayed by Tim Jahn in a film, The Tony Blair Witch Project (2000).[1][dead link], and in the satirical sketch show Not The Nine O'Clock News by Mel Smith.[3]

Books[edit]

  • Double Takes - notes and afterthoughts on the movies 1956-1976, Elm Tree Books 1977
  • His history of British Film:
    • Hollywood UK – The British Film Industry in the 1960s, New York, Stein and Day 1974
    • National Heroes – British Cinema in the 70s and 80s, London: Harrap 1985
    • Icons in the Fire – the rise and fall of almost everybody in the British film industry 1984-2000, London, Orion Books 2004
  • Stanley Kubrick - Director, Norton 1999
  • Audrey - her real story, St. Martin's Press 1995
  • Bette Davis – a celebration, New York: Applause Theatre Books, 1998
  • Dietrich, New York: Harper and Row 1984
  • The Celluloid Sacrifice – aspects of sex in the movies, London: Joseph 1966
  • Elizabeth - The Life of Elizabeth Taylor, Weidenfeld 1991
  • Garbo - A portrait, Macmillan 1980
  • Fatal Charm – The Life of Rex Harrison, St. Martin's Press 1993
  • Joan Crawford - the ultimate star, Harper and Row 1983
  • It's only a movie, Ingrid – encounters on and off the screen, London, Headline 1988
  • Peter Sellers - the authorized biography, Weidenfeld and Nicolson 1981
  • Vivien - The life of Vivien Leigh, Weidenfeld and Nicolson 1987
  • Rudolph Valentino, Stein and Day 1976
  • Shattered Silents - how the talkies came to stay, London: Elm Tree Books 1978, New York: Morrow Quill Paperbacks, 1980
  • Stanley Kubrick directs, New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich 1972
  • Stardom - the Hollywood phenomenon, Stein and Day 1970

References[edit]

  1. ^ Obituary:Alexander Walker The Guardian,16 July 2003.Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  2. ^ "Berlinale 1968: Juries". berlinale.de. Archived from the original on 29 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  3. ^ Video on YouTube